Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel mechanism discovered for communication between proteins that cause ‘cell suicide’

Date:
September 27, 2010
Source:
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Summary:
A recent study provides new clues for the understanding of the 'cell suicide' process. Research reveals that three essential components of the apoptotic process, the BAX and DRP-1 proteins and cardiolipin, act in a joint manner to produce a large hole in the external membrane of the mitochondria, proving to be lethal for the cell.

A recent study undertaken by investigators at five research centres, amongst which is the CSIC-University of the Basque Country Biophysics Unit, provides new clues for the understanding of the 'cell suicide' process.

Related Articles


The research was published in the latest issue of the journal Cell.

Our bodies daily eliminate in a controlled manner more than 100 million defective cells, by means of a procedure known as 'cell suicide' or apoptosis. This is a highly complicated process, any imbalances thus arising causing serious diseases, prominent amongst which is cancer. Over the past two decades it has been possible to identify various cellular components involved in apoptosis. Nevertheless, there are still important unresolved questions about the functioning of certain key elements in this great cell riddle.

This study has revealed that three essential components of the apoptotic process, the BAX and DRP-1 proteins and cardiolipin, act in a joint manner to produce a large hole in the external membrane of the mitochondria, proving to be lethal for the cell.

But probably the most surprising aspect of the research is that the researchers have managed to decipher a new 'language' used by BAX and DRP-1 for communicating: these two proteins do not interact with each other physically, as usually happens, but they do so through the lipids of the membrane.

"More specifically, what one of the proteins (DRP-1) does is to deform the lipid bilayer of the membrane and the resulting structure is what apparently enables the activation of the second protein (BAX)," explained Mr Gorka Basañez, from the CSIC-UPV/EHU Biophysics Unit, and one of the authors of the research. These findings can open new ways to the rational development of anti-tumour pharmaceutical drugs, specifically targeting these components of the apoptotic cell machinery.

Taking part in this research, led by Professor Jean-Claude Martinou of the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), were, apart from the CSIC-UPV/EHU Biophysics Unit, the universities of Salzburg (Germany), Hanover (Germany) and Florida (USA).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elhuyar Fundazioa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sylvie Montessuit, Syam Prakash Somasekharan, Oihana Terrones, Safa Lucken-Ardjomande, Sébastien Herzig, Robert Schwarzenbacher, Dietmar J. Manstein, Ella Bossy-Wetzel, Gorka Basañez, Paolo Meda, Jean-Claude Martinou. Membrane Remodeling Induced by the Dynamin-Related Protein Drp1 Stimulates Bax Oligomerization. Cell, 2010; 142 (6): 889-901 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.08.017

Cite This Page:

Elhuyar Fundazioa. "Novel mechanism discovered for communication between proteins that cause ‘cell suicide’." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927083901.htm>.
Elhuyar Fundazioa. (2010, September 27). Novel mechanism discovered for communication between proteins that cause ‘cell suicide’. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927083901.htm
Elhuyar Fundazioa. "Novel mechanism discovered for communication between proteins that cause ‘cell suicide’." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927083901.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) — Video of pandas play fighting at the Chengdu Research Base in China will make your day. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) — 3-D printing helps another two-legged dog run around with his four-legged friends. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the adorable video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

RightThisMinute (Jan. 28, 2015) — From new-puppy happy tears to helpful-grocery-carrying-dog laughter, our four-legged best friends can make us feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins